Saturday, August 16, 2008

Scratch-off Tournament Round 1 action continues! (Sat 8/16 update)

It's hard to believe that we're one week into the scratch-off tournament. Honestly, I don't know what I expected to happen, but the action so far has been great! We've got several close games and a couple blow-outs that could turn around with a simple scratch of a coin.


Match 1 - We're in the bottom of the 2nd inning where the Blue Jays of MMosley lead the game over Madding's Athletics by a score of 2 to 0. The Jays have one out and are hoping to extend their lead in today's action. Number 25 comes to the plate with all eyes on him. The pitcher fires in three pitches that get Twenty-Five swinging for the fences, but only catching air. He goes down with a strikeout. With two down, Number 29 enters the batter's box. He seems totally at ease as he takes a couple practice swings and readies himself. The pitcher, on the other hand, has his own ideas about how this is all going down, and sends the batter packing. That's another strike out for the A's to retire the side. Will they be able to pull back in the third inning?

We're going to the top of third. The A's coming to bat trail the Jays 2-0. Will the A's be able to stay alive in this match, or is this the end of the line for them?

Madding has more than a few players to choose from: 01, 04, 05, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 28, 32


Match 2 - Bottom of the first, 2 outs and a runner on third. As per the new rules, I will play Joey's turn here. Let's hope he is able to come in before the third inning rolls around. Player Number 05 comes to bat. WhiteSoxCards' Mariners will none of this fooling around, and they strike out Number 05 easily.

That's the end of the first inning. We're scoreless and WhiteSoxCards will see if he can get something started.

WhiteSoxCards has a slew of players to pick from: 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32


Match 3 - In the bottom of the 2nd inning with things scoreless, ChrisB has 24 hours to choose his three batters: 02, 04, 05, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 32


Match 4 - Motherscratcher's Royals come to bat in the bottom of the 2nd inning, trailing 1-0 to Chris(M)'s White Sox. The Royals are going to send in George Brett (12), Hal McRae (21), and Tony Pena Jr (29). Let's see how this plays out. Coming out of retirement (and nearly out of the retirement home), Brett steps up to the plate. The pitcher throws the first pitch underhand, and Brett takes a swing, but just can't seem to connect. The next pitch is a change up that Brett sends deep down the third base line! This thing could actually be outta here! The left fielder runs back and toward left foul territory. The ball dips off into the crowd - a long foul ball. One VERY happy (and lucky!) fan gets a souvenir! Two strikes, and Brett looks ready to take on the White Sox again. The pitcher throws, this time not messing around, he blows a fastball by Brett who goes down swinging and comes up with a smile. A wave to the hometown crowd and a nod to the pitcher, he retires to the dugout. The next batter up is Hal McRae. Younger fans may want to cover their ears if things should go south for him.... The pitcher throws, and McRae connects, sending the ball bouncing into center field. That's a cuss-less single for McRae! One out, one on and Tony Pena Jr strides out to the batter's box. In his first game as a Royal, he hit two triples. Let's see if he can pull off one here tonight. The pitcher throws, and Pena knocks the ball for a ... run-scoring TRIPLE! I am going to have to scan this card because even I had to check the card twice after I saw that! HOLY SMOKES!

We're here in the bottom of the 2nd inning with the score tied at 1-1 and a runner on third with 1 out.

Motherscratcher is still up to bat. Which Royals will he send in next? Here are the choices: 03, 05, 09, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31


Match 5 - The Brew Crew (Voltaire) leads the Orioles (Erin) 3-0 with 2 outs in the bottom of the 1st inning with a runner on third. The Brewers send in Number 20 to see if he can keep things rolling. The pitcher comes at him hard, but he hits her fastball deep into the outfield and comes up with a stand-up double, scoring a run in the process. That's 4 to nothing with two outs. Player #08 comes up to the plate with a smile on his face. He sets up for whatever the pitcher has coming. The pitcher checks the runner on second, turns and she tosses a curve ball toward the plate. The batter hits the ball to shallow left where the shortstop grabs it and stops the onslaught being brought on by the Brewers.

Erin comes up to bat in the top of the second inning after taking a 4-run pounding. Can she rally her team back from this? Tune in and watch what happens!

Erin, you have plenty of players to choose from: 05, 06, 07, 09, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32


Match 6 - The Marlins coach, Kevin, took a vacation and was hoping to be back before things got rolling. Little did he know that Dayf's Rockies would be leading 4-1 by the time he got back. But, he is back and we continue the bottom of the first inning in Match 6. The next Marlin up to bat is Number 16. There's 1 out so far, let's see what Sixteen can do with that. The Rockies' pitcher comes up with a mixture of fastballs and change ups that sends the batter back to the dugout without so much as touching the ball. Two down, and Kevin brings in Number 24. The pitcher winds up and here's the toss. Twenty-Four smacks this one high into the air directly above the first baseman. He's under it, and grabs it for the out. That retires the side.

We're heading into the 2nd inning with Dayf's Rockies coming to bat, leading 4-1.

Dayf is eager to get his players going, I'm sure! Here who he has to pick from: 02, 04, 06, 08, 09, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 20, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Tournament Rule Modification

I have given this a lot of thought, and I know life can get in the way of "fun" things. I am modifying the "double 48-hour elimination" rule.

Previously, if a player missed two consecutive 48-hour periods of play, they would be disqualified from the tourney.

Instead, here is the new rule:

Players will remain in the tournament if they fail to respond within the first 48 hours, but *I* will choose their spot picks (this is already how things are done). After I play their card, the player has another 48 hours to continue play (or 48 hours from the time they are up to bat, depending on the results of my picks). If the player does not respond, rather than be disqualified from the tourney, *I* will again choose their spots.

The 'absent player' will continue to remain in the match until the third inning. Once the player's turn comes up in the third inning, the player will have 48 hours to choose their spots. If the player does not respond within 48 hours from time they come up to bat in the 3rd inning, THEN they will forfeit the game.

Any players forfeiting a game will NOT receive a game-used/auto card. Sorry...

I am hoping this will make it a little more fair for folks to participate, but at the same time not leave games hanging out there.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Scratch-off Update! TGIF Edition (08/15)

Match 1 - MMosley replies to Madding's scratchcard comment with this retort: "All that scratchcard dust from Madding has got me all choked up." Let's see if "CHOKE" was the right word choice here... First up for MMosley is Number 31. Madding's pitcher hurls the ball in there and thirty-one connects, sending the ball to the shortstop who tosses it to first for an easy ground out. The Jays send in Number 11 to see what he can do here in the bottom of the second. Here comes the pitch. The swing, and it's a hit! The ball takes a rope toward the right fielder who can't come up with it and chases it into the corner. Eleven rounds second and gets the go ahead signal to come to third. The fielder throws, but it's no where near in-time. MMosley grabs a triple with one man out. MMosley may be choked up, but the hometown fans are screaming wildly. Number 20 comes in from the dugout, hoping to get that runner across the plate. The pitcher takes a breath, looks at the catcher and sets. Here's the wind-up and the pitch. It's a low curveball and Twenty swings, hitting the ball high and deep into right field. This one could get outta here! The fielder is back.. Back to the wall... He leaps into the air, but cannot come up with it as it clears the top for a two-run homer here in the bottom of the second inning. Evidently, Madding's scratchcard dust has given the Jays a bit of a magic touch.

So, here we are with one out and the Jays lead the A's 2-0 with MMosley's crew still up to bat.

MMosley, suck in that dust and pick three more spots: 01, 04, 05, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 32


Match 2 - Bottom of the first, 2 outs and a runner on third.

Joey is still in there, and has 24 hours to choose spots from these numbers: 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32


Match 3 - TasteLikeDirt has hit the 8-hour mark, so I'll take over for this set of spots. First up is Number 01. ChrisB's Jays are on the money this time and the batter goes down with three strikes, leaving a runner stranded on 2nd base.

Going in to the bottom of the 2nd inning, we're sitting on zeroes in this match. Let's see if ChrisB can get some points on the board here.

ChrisB can send in three of these players: 02, 04, 05, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 32


Match 4 - Chris(M) is leading 1-0 in the top of the 2nd inning with two outs. He sends in Number 04 to see if he can bring in another run (or hopefully just get on base!). Motherscratcher's pitcher winds up, ready to take the White Sox down. Can the Royals put an end to this at-bat? Let's see what happens. The pitcher releases a fury of pitches that ultimately leave poor Number 04 wondering what he is even doing in the majors. The batter strikes out, and the teams get set to change sides.

Going into the bottom of the 2nd, Chris(M)'s White Sox lead 1-0 over Motherscratcher's Royals.

Let's see if the "scratchcard power" transfers to the Royals. Motherscratcher, choose your three batters from these: 03, 05, 09, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31


Match 5 - Voltaire continues his team's at-bat in the first inning over Erin's Orioles. He leads 2-0 with one out. Number 17 comes up to the plate as the pitcher readies herself for the pitch. She takes the sign, winds, and pitches. The batter smacks this ball deep and it takes a funny bounce off the left field wall, giving Number 17 the opportunity to stretch his double into a triple! Can Number 01 put on a repeat performance that we saw earlier in the inning? Will he generate two runs here? Let's take a look. The pitcher checks her sign, sets, and throws. The batter swings for the fences, but comes up short as the center fielder easily catches the ball for the second out. Two outs with a runner on third here in the bottom of the first. Up next is Number 30, who is just coming off an injury. The trainer has given the clearance, but let's see how well Thirty performs here. Here's the pitch. The batter swings, and in an AMAZING twist of fate, HE is able to drive the runner home and get himself around to third base! Ho-Ly Cow!

That's three to nothing in the bottom of the first with two outs, and Voltaire is still up to bat. Can Erin's O's stop the bleeding? We'll find out soon!

Voltaire, you are STILL up, and have the following players at your disposal: 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32


Match 6 - 1 out and Kevin's Marlins are still in it, trailing Dayf's Rockies 4-1.

Kevin has 24 hours to choose three more batters from this pool of players: 02, 04, 06, 08, 09, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Tourney Time-Out

I'm taking a break from the Tournament for a moment to bring you a few updates.

First of all, I was named the winner of a contest held recently over at Dinged Corners! The prize:


An autographed card of Orioles Manager Joe Altobelli. But, I have to say the actual PRIZE was the "Certificate of Authenticity" included with the auto'd card!!


Yes, that is a one-of-a-kind COA from Lucy herself! The COA also includes a hand-drawn GOLD MEDAL! HELLO!? How awesome is that!? :-)

In addition to the main prizes, the girls at Dinged Corners included about a HUNDRED Tribe cards! And, in honor of Lucy's wonderful COA and thoughtful note by Patricia, I am including a few scans that Lucy would love:


Kevin Wickander, Cliff Lee (who has a LOT to be smiling about!) and Alex Cole are all wearing their very happy faces!



Here is a Keith Hernandez Ames card from 1990.



Carmen Castillo and Sammy Stewart are wearing smiles! And, Sammy even gives out a "Thumbs-up!"



And, last but no where near least is a player I have loved to watch play from the very beginning (which this card is from those days, by the way) - Jim Thome, who is smiling and will continue to do so for many, many seasons after this picture was taken!


THANK YOU so much, Lucy and Patricia! I've already been showing off my COA and can't wait to show it off some more on Saturday!!


I have also received packages from several trades that I'm doing as well! I received about 150 Tribe Cards from Eric in Iowa that included a GU and a Serial# card! He'll be getting a box full of Yankees in return!


I sent a bunch of 1987 Topps cards to Cliff, and am working on 1981 Topps for Ben (not Ben Henry, another Ben)! I also received a stack of Tribe cards from another trader, but I lost the envelope the cards came in! AUGH! I can say the stack included a 1988-2008 Upper Deck hobby preview card in "Tipton" condition. :-) I'll figure it out and get a stack of cards to you if I have not already done so!


And, finally, my son bought a 'snack pack' that included Cracker Jacks, peanuts, crackers, and a pack of 2007 Topps Opening Day cards. He knows I'm a collector, so after he opened the pack, he gave it to me! How cool is that!? I'll post the contents of that pack on A-Pack-A-Day!

We will return you to the scratch-off tournament shortly... :-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Round 1, Thursday (8/14) Update

Match 1 - During the break between innings, we spoke to Madding who said, "This time, runs will rain down on the Blue Jays like so much scratchcard dust!" We're not sure what he meant, but we think it means he is predicting a huge inning for his Athletics. Batter #30 comes in to see if he can break the 0-0 ties, or at least get something going for his teammates. MMosley's Blue Jays are not to be deterred, however, so let's see how things go for the first batter in the second inning. The batter swings, and sends this ball high into the air. Unfortunately for the A's, there is no distance, just height, and the Jays easily grab the ball for an out. Number 12 comes to bat, ready to strike. As the ball comes across the plate from the pitcher, the batter smacks it hard right back at him. Lighting quick reflexes kick in and the pitcher snatches up the ball and fires it over to first for a ground out. Things are not looking good for Madding here in the second. His team has two outs as Number 09 comes out of the dugout and up to the plate. The pitcher winds up, throws the ball, and the batter smacks this one deep into the outfield! The left fielder and center fielder both run toward the ball. At the last second, the center fielder is waved off and the other outfielder grabs the fly ball for the final out in the top of the second inning. Three up and three down. There was plenty of scratchcard dust flying around, but it played in favor of the hometown Jays.

Still scoreless, we go to the bottom of the second inning.

Let's see if MMosley can get the fire lit under his Blue Jays. He's got plenty of players to choose from: 01, 04, 05, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32


Match 2 - Bottom of the first, 2 outs and a runner on third.

Joey is still in there, and can choose spots from these numbers: 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32


Match 3 - We've got 2 outs with a runner on second in the top of the 2nd inning.

TasteLikeDirt is hanging in there and gets to pick three more spots: 01, 02, 04, 05, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 32


Match 4 - We're scoreless here at the top of the second inning as Chris(M) sends his White Sox to bat against Motherscratcher. Number 10 steps in, ready to get things rockin'. Here's the pitch... It's a swing and a miss! And, as if we were watching things in triplicate, the batter misses two more pitches and the Royals strike out the first batter in the 2nd inning. Up next, let's see if #20 can start a rally. Here's the pitch - a high fastball. The batter swings and smacks this puppy right on the sweet spot! That ball is outta here! It's a home run for Chris(M)! That's 1-0 with 1 out. Batter #32 comes to the plate with a spring in his step. Is this the start of something big for the Sox? Unfortunately for the A's, Number 32 gets completely shut down by Motherscracther's Royals. It's another strike out for the pitcher!

We're still in the top of the 2nd inning, where Chris(M) leads 1-0 with 2 outs.

Chris(M) will pick three more numbers for his team. Players yet to bat are: 03, 04, 05, 09, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31


Match 5 - Voltaire comes up to bat for the first time in the match against Erin's Orioles. The home crowd is cheering on their "Brew Crew!" Voltaire sends in Player #15. The pitcher set, winds up, and throws her best heat. The batter is paralyzed by the pitch and takes a strike. The next pitch comes in and the batter sends it foul into the stands. Ready to make a statement, the batter readies for the pitch. The pitcher sends in a change up that throws off the batter and she strikes him out. Not to be deterred, the Brewers send in #26. Erin's Orioles are hoping to shut down Voltaire and get this inning over with. The pitcher throws. The batter connects! It's a line drive rocket that shoots just over the pitcher and lands in there for a single. With a runner on, Player #25 steps up to the plate. Here's the pitch... Holy cow! It's a line drive shot that goes just above the left fielder and over the fence for a two-run HOMER! The Brew Crew goes bananas!

As we go to a commercial break, the Brewers lead the Orioles by two with one out.

Voltaire will pick his next three batters. Player yet to play are: 01, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32


Match 6 - Kevin came up to bat on Tuesday, so 48 hours have passed and I will play his spots for him this go-round. Dayf has a 4-point lead. Lets hope Kevin can do something to stay in the game. First up is batter #01. The pitcher throws, and the batter takes this one deep, deep into the outfield! The fielder misplays it and Kevin is on base with a triple. We've got us some kind of game here folks! Next up is #32. Too bad he can't duplicate the effort of the first batter, and he goes down swinging. 1 out with a runner on third. I'm sending in #19. The batter lays down a BUNT! The pitcher rushes forward to grab the ball, but he can't make the play at the plate in time! Kevin scores on a bunt single here in the bottom of the first!

1 out and Kevin's Marlins are still in it, trailing Dayf's Rockies 4-1.

Kevin can choose three more batters from this pool of players: 02, 04, 06, 08, 09, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31